Cover Image
close this bookCommodity Distribution, A Practical Guide for Field Staff (United Nations High Commission for Refugee, 1997, 77 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPurpose of this guide and how to use it
View the documentGlossary
View the documentKey Points
close this folderI. Overview
View the document1.1 Definition of distribution
View the document1.3 Food and non-food items
View the document1.4 Programme planning questions
close this folderII. GETTING STARTED
View the document(introduction...)
View the document2.3 Beneficiary ration/registration cards/kits4
View the document2.4 By whom
View the document2.5 Where - How many distribution points, their location
View the document2.7 Equipment for distribution
View the document3.1 The framework - an overview
View the document3.2 Advantages and disadvantages of the three categories of distribution
View the document3.3 Choosing the system
View the document3.5 How to distribute through groups of heads of families (one method)
View the document3.6 How to distribute through individual heads of family (three methods)
View the document4.1 Refugee participation
View the document4.2 The leadership may not truly represent the refugees
View the document4.3 Refugee committees
View the document4.5 Information to all the beneficiaries, the crucial factor
View the documentV. MANAGEMENT
close this folderVI. SPECIAL ISSUES
View the document6.1 Common questions
View the document6.2 How much to distribute when numbers are not agreed?
View the document6.3 When you do not have enough to go around
View the document6.4 Trading rations
View the document6.6 Payment in kind
View the document6.7 Retroactive distribution
View the document6.8 Sacks and other empty containers
close this folderAnnex 1 - Reporting on Food Distribution
View the document1. Food Distribution Monitoring Report (Food 1)
close this folderAnnex 2 - Reporting on Non-Food Items Distribution
View the document1. Non-Food Item Distribution Report (NFI. 1)
close this folderAnnex 3 - Reporting on Food Distribution
View the documentWorksheet for on Site Food Distribution Monitoring Report
View the documentExplanatory Notes
View the documentAnnex 4 - Household Monitoring Report
close this folderAnnex 5 - Post Distribution Monitoring
View the documentMarket Survey Report Form
View the documentAnnex 6 - Bibliography

1. Food Distribution Monitoring Report (Food 1)

In the first instance this report should be completed by the implementing partner responsible for distribution and submitted simultaneously to the UNHCR and the WFP Sub/Field Office. Distribution reports from several sites/implementing partners should be consolidated at Sub Office level and transmitted to the Branch Office. The BO, in turn, consolidates reports from Sub Offices and submits the consolidated report to HQs.

Offices should decide themselves on the mechanism and the frequency of the data collection depending on the actual situation. For stable operations the information should be compiled on a monthly basis. In emergencies, reports may have to be compiled daily or weekly.

UNHCR and WFP should agree at Field level on the format for distribution reporting and, if needed, modify the format presented here accordingly. The format should be incorporated into the tripartite agreement between UNHCR, WFP and the implementing partner.

Food Distribution reports submitted to HQs should be addressed to the Desk, copied to FSU.

Explanation of the Food Distribution Monitoring Report form



Fill in the name of the distribution site, or of the area which will indicate who the beneficiaries are.


“Project No”

Refers to the WFP reference number for the Emergency Operation (EMOP) or Protracted Refugee Operation (PRO). For caseloads under 5,000, (UNHCR responsibility), the LOI reference number should be used.


“Reporting period/month”

If reporting on a monthly basis, only give the name of the month. Otherwise, give exact dates for the reporting period, including the exact number of days, i.e. from 6 to 16 January 1997, 11 days.


“No of beneficiaries”

The number of beneficiaries for this reporting period should be given, for general feeding, supplementary (SFP) and therapeutic (TFP) feeding and any other feeding programmes, e.g. Food for Work (FFW), special feeding for unaccompanied minors.



The daily ration (grams) per person for each commodity. The information requested on rations is collected from the basic WFP and/or UNHCR documents, as those provide the theoretical rations for a certain caseload and time period.

Information on kilocalories is important so as to compare the theoretical calorific value of the different rations against the agreed basic requirements (e.g. the minimum calorific intake for a general feeding operation is currently 1,900 kcal/person/day).


“Opening stocks”

(a) is the quantity physically available at the EDPs (or the total of all EDPs, if completing a consolidated report for the whole country operation) at the beginning of the reporting period. This should not take into consideration pipeline projections.


“Quantity received”

(b) refers to the food actually delivered to the EDP during the reporting period.


“Total quantity available”

(a)+(b) is the sum of the opening stocks and the quantity received during the reporting period.


“Total quantity required”

Is the sum of the requirements for general, supplementary and therapeutic feeding and/or any other feeding programmes. Requirements for each programme are computed as (daily ration/person) × (number of beneficiaries) × (number of days covered by the reporting period).



Indicates the quantities actually distributed for each feeding operation, within the given period.


“Percentage of needs covered”

[(d)/(c)] compares the actual distribution versus the theoretical requirements.



Record any losses due to damage, theft etc.


“Stock transfer to other sites”

Use this row to record stock movements not used for distribution to the target group, e.g. losses, spoilage, stocks transferred to another site or warehouse.


“Closing stocks”

Represents the total quantity of food available after the distribution (at the different EDPs or for all EDPs, if reporting at country level - see para 1.6 above). In addition to actual quantities distributed this should also take into consideration losses and stock transfers to other sites.